New and Complete Geographic Dictionary of the Russian State, or Lexicon, Listed in Alphabetical Order


This six-volume work, Novyi i polnyi geograficheskii slovar' Rossiiskago gosudarstva (New and complete geographical dictionary of the Russian state), published in Moscow in 1788‒89, was intended as a comprehensive source of information about places in the Russian Empire, including cities and towns, rivers, islands, mountains, and other geographic features. Tsar Peter the Great (reigned, 1682–1725) identified a need for more detailed and complete knowledge about his realm. Throughout the 18th century, Peter and his successors commissioned scientific compendia about the empire. Empress Catherine the Great (reigned, 1762–96) continued in the same vein as her predecessor. Her efforts to collect broad and detailed information about the lands that she ruled reflected the idea that more knowledge would result in better governance―a view that was widely shared among European rulers during the Age of Enlightenment. The volumes contain articles on a wide variety of geographical, topographical, historical, and other subjects, about hundreds of places across the country. The articles are presented in alphabetical order. Among the entries included are those on cities, forts, redoubts, outposts, villages, Orthodox cathedrals, churches and monasteries, factories, rivers, lakes, seas, islands, and mountains. The articles are unsigned, and many are very brief. Volume one has a short foreword that explains the purpose and structure of the work.

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Title in Original Language

Новый и полный географический словарь Российскаго государства, или лексиконъ, описующий азбучным порядком

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6 volumes ; 23 centimeters

Last updated: December 11, 2017